On average it takes 2-4 sessions for a lighten to cover and 8-10 sessions for removal.
Every person is different. It can be highly variable and depends on tattoo age, location, ink density, complexity of colours and person-specific factors such as skin-type and general health. We always provide you with a realistic and honest estimate of sessions and timeframe for your first session.
We are one of the few clinics that do not charge for a consult. If you want to learn more about laser tattoo removal come and meet our team for a friendly chat. You are always welcome. Our minimum prices is 150 for a Q-Switch and 200 for a PICO treatment. The price greatly depends on the size and complexity of the tattoo in hand and you will receive a fixed quote that is valid for a year. Our approximate prices per session range between 150-400. Please remember this includes pre-counselling with laser preparation, a laser tattoo removal session and aftercare support. We look after clients from the beginning to the end of their tattoo removal journey. Grouping tattoos during the same session can be a way to make it more affordable and we try to tailor the removal according to your financial circumstances. We accept Cash, Afterpay, Visa and Mastercard at all our clinics.
We recommend you arrive to your session healthy and well. If you are on antibiotics in the first place it means you are receiving medical treatment! We recommend you let us know if you have started a course and generally need at least a week from your last dose before your next session. Some medications require a longer period off before it is safe to laser. Roaccutane is the most common culprit and requires at least 3-6 months of cessation before you are safe to return. Keep us well informed and our team can advise you. Communicating your health with our dedicated team will get you the best and safest results.
Our lasers produce short pulses of light using a specific wavelength that is selectively absorbed by tattoo pigment (selective thermolysis). Ink deposits in the skin dermis absorb this high energy converting it to heat. This energy shatters ink particles into smaller pieces causing a highly specific burn only in the skin containing ink. As the skin heals your immune system removes ink and flushes it out of your body via the lymphatic system over the coming weeks and months.
Both technologies (Q-switch and PICO) are highly effective for the most common tattoo ink colours black and red. Since PICO is able to use a different wavelength of light (755nm) it can be effective for inks that do not respond to Q-switch and covers a wider range of colours; especially tattoos containing blue, greens and purples. There is evidence PICO can be more effective in removing many darker tattoo pigments, however in our experience it is highly dependent on ink composition, density and individual response. We may recommend switching between the two technologies depending on treatment progress. Our staff are trained to understand the use and limitations of both technologies so we can give you the information you need.
The good news is the majority of colours can be removed with Q-switch and PICO technology used in the right circumstances. Q-switch Lasers operate wavelengths of light that specifically target black and red pigment. PICO can be used for a wider range of colours, especially blues and greens. There are some colours that do not respond to laser. Lighter colours e.g. yellow and white ink are more difficult to remove. White ink cannot be removed. Occasionally they may darken to a ‘greyish’ colour. Some ink colours, especially bright vibrant ink compounds can darken with laser treatment. Our staff will ‘test-patch’ a colour that may react in this way to minimise this risk.
In a word..NO!
Injectable solutions to remove a tattoo will only cause trauma and damage to the skin. We have had countless clients come to us with permanently damaged skin from injectable removal practises.
Topical creams are just that, topical. A tattoo sits far too deep in the skin for a tattoo removal cream to have any impact.
IPL lasers are designed to remove hair follicles, not tattoo pigments. IPL machines use a
broad spectrum of light. This means IPL machines are more likely to damage surrounding
skin tissue, remove melanin and can penetrate deeper in the skin. Whilst IPL machines are safe and effective for targeting hair follicles we do not recommend it for
By far the most damage we see is on clients who have been lasered with a class 2 or class 3 Q Switch or Pico laser. Western Australia has strict laser regulations which require a medical practitioner (Doctor) to hold a license to supervise the use of a class 4 laser which are more powerful. To get around this some clinics are buying inferior class 2 or 3 lasers which are cheap to buy and can be operated without the correct training or medical supervision. These machines cannot generate the required energy to remove tattoo ink safely. Clinics using this technology permanently damage skin attempting to remove tattoos. It can also make future tattoo removal by us far more challenging.
- Keep it out of the sun completely for at two weeks before your 1st session and moisturise your skin with a good quality vitamin E cream.
- Keep healthy, hydrate, eat nutritiously and exercise. Remember the healthier your immune system the better the results.
- Remove make-up, fake tan, shave the area and avoid applying beauty products immediately before your session.
- Read our preparation guidelines and apply numbing cream 90 minutes before. We can help you choose a product and advise how to apply.
It can be similar to an ‘elastic band’ flicking the skin. At SW Laser we combine a highly effective numbing cream, top of the range cooling machine and perform the procedure extremely fast. Often the procedure only takes a few minutes of your time. This all makes for a more comfortable experience and we take pain management seriously. Our trained staff are sensitive and expect you to be nervous. We will support and guide you through the process.
Your skin will mirror the appearance of sunburn. Initially it will ‘frost’ (turn white) as the ink reacts with the laser. This can last for 20 minutes but often fades immediately. Your skin may redden, much like a sunburn and over the next 24 hours crusts, scabs, bruising and swelling may appear. Occasionally small blisters may occur. We will give you detailed aftercare guidance and support to care for your healing skin.
Generally light exercise such as walking is fine. Any exercise that raises your body temperature and encourages heat into your tattoo removal site should be avoided for the first 48 hours. After 72 hours most clients are able to return to heavier exercise (weight training) and swimming. As long as the tattoo removal site is covered and protected with a dressing e.g. Fixomull. If you excessively swell or blister you may need to take a little longer to recover and it depends on how your skin reacts. See our aftercare guidelines or speak to our team for more information and guidance.
Healing time can vary tremendously depending on your response. Surface skin healing can take a few days or last a few weeks. The healing skin underneath takes up to 6 weeks and is why we space our sessions at a minimum of 6-8 weeks initially.
Scar-tissue formation is rare and normally the result of disturbed skin during early healing immediately following a session. In fact, the tattooing process is more likely to cause scar-tissue. Treatments can actually improve the texture of the skin at the end of the treatment.
Disturbing blisters or during healing can lead to scar-tissue formation. This and is why we promote protecting the skin early. Some individuals are more prone to scarring (Keloid scarring), however this is rare. We will perform a skin check and screen your general health during your initial consultation. If you follow our aftercare advice scarring is very unlikely to happen.
Immediately after tattoo removal a tattoo may appear darker due to bruising. However, once the full healing has occurred the ink will appear lighter. Shading drops out first and can remove after only 1-2 sessions. Thicker line work or dense ink deposits take longer. Often the first signs are ink dulling or starting to turn a brown colour. Ink progressively drops out over months. Only with time can we truly judge fading.
Tattoo ink doesn’t drop out evenly. During the mid-section of your removal your tattoo may appear patchy and uneven, some areas may drop out faster than others.
In the latter stages of tattoo removal the tattoo may appear like a light shadow of ink similar to veins that sit underneath your skin.